To learn more about how it’s like to work in a charity shop, we interviewed some volunteers to know about their personal experience and thoughts on volunteering.
Why do you do voluntary work in a charity shop?
Phillip, NCBI – “I volunteer in a charity shop because helping people makes me happy.”
Kate, St. Vincent de Paul – “I started volunteering to fill up free time while kids are in school, then it became a passion. I also think that it’s really nice to help people so it’s an enjoyable experience.”
What extra value do you get from volunteering?
Sarah, Irish Cancer Society – “I really enjoy knowing that I’m being helpful to others, but I also love the delicious sandwiches my colleague prepares everyday.”
Ricardo, NCBI – “For me working in a charity shop is an occasion to learn English and gain CV experience.”
Meghan, Down Syndrome – “What I love about volunteering is that I get to meet new people who share my same ideas and interests.”
How much of your free time do you dedicate to volunteering?
Abby, Sue Ryder Foundation – “I volunteer here in the shop 6 hours a day for 4 days a week, but most of my colleagues spend here 3 days a week.”
Theresa, Liberty – “I do voluntary work at the shop one day a week for 8 hours.”
Is it an experience you would recommend doing?
David, NCBI – “I would recommend this experience, especially to young people as it gives them a taste of what it’s like to be in a work placement and it prepares them for future jobs”
Barbara, St. Vincent de Paul – “Yes, definitely. It’s a great occasion to meet new people and spending time doing something that it’s going to help others.”
Can you tell us which cause does the money made in the charity shop support?
Abby, Sue Ryder Foundation – “This charity shops raises money to help the elderly people across Ireland.”
David, NCBI – “We support people in Ireland affected by blindness and sight loss.”
Theresa, Liberty – “We help people overcome drug addiction through recycling.”
Jeanne, Irish Cancer Society – “The money made in my charity shop promotes research for cancer prevention and treatment.”
Meghan, Down Syndrome Ireland – “It offers support and services to people with Down syndrome and their families throughout Ireland.”
Mara, Oxfam – “Oxfam supports people in emergencies around the world. Our goal is to live in a world without poverty, where nobody is denied of their rights.”
Barbara, St. Vincent de Paul – “We raise money to fight poverty in all its forms through the practical assistance to people in need.”
Is it something that affects you personally?
Meghan, Down Syndrome Ireland – “Yes, I have a close friend who has two children, one with Down syndrome.”
Do you think this kind of supporting shops should exist in every country?
Abby, Sue Ryder Foundation – “Yes, they should. Apart from the help they provide by raising money, charity shops are also helpful to those people who can’t afford many expenses. For example in December, many people come into our shop to buy Christmas presents for their children at an affordable price.”
Mara, Oxfam – “I strongly believe that they should. The more help to fight poverty the better!”
Do you think it is important to have volunteers in charity shops?
Jeanne, Irish Cancer Society – “Having volunteers is essential. These good willed people who work without a compensation for the sake of helping others are the reason why charity shops are able to exist.”